Review of "Co-op (Shop)"
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They say machines and robots are taking over the world and eventfully we will only need 30% of the current workforce by 2100. Supermarkets are a good example of that. Whether we like it or not we now have to tackle those often intimidating - to some - automated checkouts and the cash strapped Coop moving faster than most to automation. I am in the socialist camp on those in that if I use them then the girls on the checkouts will get fired quicker but of late they have started nagging and dragging you out of the queue from the normal checkout to use the machines so I am. Quite simply checkouts are going to disappear so you better get used to them. I use them for one or two item shops but the patronizing automated voice and the fact these machines are all different in the various shops you can see why the old dears don’t like them. The temptation with a bigger shop is not to swipe all the items and have a freebie or two.So robots aside what of the Coop? Well it doesn’t really do the big supermarket thing anymore and so very much a local set up. You won’t be able to buy a Christmas tree or Turkey here and rarely find off street parking. It’s probably a supermarket aimed at singletons or students if the truth be told. It’s more likely to do pizza in the fridge than a family beef joint. Their stores only have so much space these days and when you are going up against independent general stores and chains like Nisa and, of course, the mini big chain stores like Sainsbury’s and Tesco Express you need to trim the fat. Sadly the Coop doesn’t trim the fat on their bacon and you end up paying more for less. M&S tried the mini me’s but overpriced their convince stores. They now exist in garage forecourts. Although the Coop is not particularly cheap they are in good locations and so do good business. In the bigger villages and suburbs is their best earner.
They have a solid selection of groceries and household stuff and concentrate on the lines that will sell, over the trendy organic and niche brand stuff. The sweets and biscuit aisle is longer than the trendy salad rabbit food one. The chain has been struggling financially for a while and after off-loading their banking and insurance arms they need to make the stores work. My local Northampton stores fresh fruit & vege section is about the size of an old Mini where as the booze section is half an aisle. That’s what makes the stores work. Let’s be honest, a lot of respectable people buy their booze in the Coop…..thirtysomething’s refueling on the Pinot and yummy mummies treating themselves on the Procesco. Let’s not forget the old dears and their quart of gin. Beer and lager is decent prices if you buy slabs there and the same for wine.There is a good selection of sandwich meats and cheeses in the chillers and the like and a decent lunchtime snack section of sandwiches and pastas. It’s good for that but not for precooked cold chicken, not available any more. I used to like that. It has freezers but limited to chickens and smaller joints due to space. Coop chickens are quite nice. Morrison’s chickens are not. I bought some nice lamb joints at the Coop lest week.
Downsides…As I say it’s all automated checkouts now with just one normal checkout in my store. That is rarely manned now and the girls spending most of their time showing reticent customers how to use the automated checkouts. For some reason most of the girls are Indians in the till area. Chap labor is their thing. My biggest grip is they were the first store to bring back Toffypops and then they took then away?? I love Toffypops!!!! Bring them back now!!!
Product Information : Co-op (Shop)
Manufacturer's product description
Listed on Ciao since: 11/11/2000